Reading: Matthew 4:12-23
Reflection: When Jesus began his ministry, the writer of Matthew’s
Gospel used a prophecy from Isaiah to describe it: “the people who
sat in darkness have seen a great light.” The coming of Jesus, and
the establishment of God’s Reign was like a light of liberation,
forgiveness and life to a people who were oppressed, condemned
and dying. The Gospel narrates two ways that this light of Christ was
revealed. Firstly, Jesus created a new people of God – a new Israel –
to be custodians and carriers of God’s grace and life to the world.
Then, secondly, Jesus healed and delivered those who were
suffering from illness or demonic oppression. By doing this, Jesus
did not just speak about God’s light, but showed what it looked like
and how it could bring new life to those who embraced it.
As we seek to follow Jesus and be little lights to the world, like the
first disciples, we will find that we need to connect with others. It is
only in community, as we support, encourage and challenge one
another, that we can grow better and better at reflecting Christ’s
light. And as we live like Jesus, we too will bring healing and
freedom to others. It may not be as dramatic as some of the Gospel
stories, but the healing we bring will be just as significant for those
who experience a new wholeness in Jesus.
Practice for Today: One of the best ways to open our hearts and
lives to God’s light is through the practice of praise. As we proclaim
and celebrate all that God is and does, God’s presence fills our lives
with light, and shines through us to pierce the darkness in our world.
Allow praise to fill you with light today.
Prayer for Today: I praise and celebrate your light that
pierces the darkness, O God.